The Soccer Without Borders mission is to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under-served youth with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success.
When building an SWB program, we value all voices, particularly those of youth and members of the communities we serve.
We believe in a whole-person approach to youth development. Our programs help young people come into a greater understanding of their bodies, minds, and voices.
We believe in the learning that comes from a quality process that focuses on what is within our control: creating a culture of acceptance, addressing obstacles to an inclusive environment, and supporting progress toward individual, team and community goals.
We aim to advance equity in ourselves, our structures, our systems, our partners, and our communities. We value and seek best practices for equitable access and opportunities, investment, representation, power, and voice.
KNOW THE "THINGY THINGY"
Sometimes participants don’t know how to express themselves or to
communicate what they need. As adults in a guiding role, our coaches are there to support self-expression through listening and asking questions. Getting to know their participants and team, sometimes coaches know what the “thingy thingy” without even being told.
CELEBRATE THE PASS MORE THAN THE GOAL
We recognize the long-term nature of youth development work. We celebrate small, everyday triumphs, that are part learning and growing. We believe that with a focus on ensuring a consistent, high quality process, positive outcomes will follow.
GET THEM TO THE FIELD
We proactively work to eliminate financial, social, logistical, and cultural barriers for participants to get to the field. We practice a "do what it takes" mentality when it comes to supporting our youth to access opportunities.
WE'RE GLAD YOU'RE HERE
Whether a participant, volunteer, or staff member, everyone should feel welcomed, valued, and included at SWB. Immediately setting a positive, welcoming tone is important for establishing a safe and inclusive space.
LEAVE YOUR SHOES AT THE DOOR
Our community includes people from all over the world, with different customs, beliefs, and backgrounds. We prioritize learning from each other with authenticity and humility.
YOU PLAY BEST WHEN YOU'RE SMILING
Joy is contagious. We aim to create a playing and working environment that prioritizes well-being. If you are happy and having fun, your team will be happy and having fun too.
Our mantras define the unique culture that is consistent across all SWB locations, programs, and teams. With such a diverse range of people and programs, our mantras guide us to prioritize what matters most.
Soccer Without Borders first began programming in 2006. Through thousands of hours, conversations, successes, and failures in 12 countries with youth from more than 75 nations, we have built an adaptable program framework that deliberately addresses the most pressing needs of our target audience, while leaving space for authentic local adaptation.